Michael Ojemudia mastering the balance between athletics and academics

Hawkeye Headquarters

Michael Ojemudia came to Iowa City ready for a challenge.

“When I got to talk to the School of Engineering, it was just a go from there. I was sold by the school and the education, plus football,” Ojemudia said. “I’m glad I did it, just maturing me and making the most of my time. But yeah, at first it was a struggle.”

The difficulty of majoring in mechanical engineering and playing Division I football took its toll on the young student-athlete.

“I went to sleep late, got not a lot of sleep for practice, but over time, I learned to manage my time and get my work done during the day,” Ojemudia said.

“Most of them, the majority of them have to figure out how to manage time,” Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz said. “That’s the biggest challenge, I think, for every guy coming to college, especially if you’re an athlete. There were times when I wondered if he’d stick with it, because he was getting beat up pretty good, but he’s weathered the storms, he’s persevered and I think he deserves a lot of credit for that because it’s not easy.”

Ojemudia’s determination has him on track to graduate this spring.

It also has the senior dreaming of a job in the automotive industry whenever his football career ends.

“Some of my classes we have design contests and you make a car and the fastest one wins basically…so making the best car, optimizing it,” Ojemudia said.

“One thing about being a graduate in engineering is that you’ve got about a 99.6 placement percentage coming out of college, so it’s gonna be worth the sacrifice,” Ferentz said.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.